Today I signed the 287(g) Jail Enforcement Officer Memorandum of Agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Jail Enforcement Officer MOA is designed to identify and process aliens who are within the CCSO’s jail who are amenable for removal in line with ICE’s civil immigration enforcement priorities. The 287(g) program will remove criminal illegal aliens from our community once they’ve been committed to our jail.
This MOA is signed in memory of Zulma Alvarez and her unborn son, as well as all the past and future victims of criminal illegal aliens in Culpeper County. Although I’ve seen others first-hand who have been killed and injured in Culpeper by illegal aliens, Zulma Alvarez and her unborn son were the first killed on my watch as Sheriff of Culpeper. Ms. Alvarez, a Culpeper resident, was killed in a head-on collision on Eggbornsville Road by a drunk driver, Orlando Cruz, on September 6th, 2012. Mr. Cruz was an illegal alien and charged previously in Culpeper County in 2011 and 2012 for driving without a driver’s license. Ms. Alvarez was nine months pregnant with her unborn son at the time of her death.
This office routinely cooperates and regularly works with federal agencies. We’ve often worked with the DEA and FBI to charge local criminals with their federal crimes such as drug distribution or even bank robbery. Just last week we had a detective out of state assisting on a federal investigation. This is not unusual. The ICE MOA is another example of everyday law enforcement.
Thousands of Culpeper residents have never committed a crime to cause them to enter our jail doors. If someone’s poor decisions cause them to enter our jail after already being an illegal guest in our community then it is an entirely foreseeable consequence that they would be handed over to ICE through this new screening process.
Persons with an agenda will continue to attack the 287(g) program as something for a community to fear when in fact the program is of no concern unless one is committed to jail, regardless of immigration status.
Special interest groups from outside Culpeper have been spreading misinformation and using fear tactics to oppose a program that the majority of our community supports. Culpeper residents who I know and respect have opposed this program based on the propaganda and fear tactics of people who do not live here and are not part of our local community. These outside groups are employing the very same fear tactics and community divisiveness that they supposedly oppose.
These special interest groups can no longer claim their ignorance of actual facts about the 287(g) program. Many of them were present in December 2017 when I presented the facts publicly to the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors. However, the 287(g) opponents choose to ignore the facts. I now believe this is clearly part of a larger agenda and it is unfortunate that good people are being manipulated. I condemn the unconscionable pursuit of an agenda that has nothing to do with the 287(g) program.
Given the misinformation being spread, a few points bear repeating:
This is a jail program only, not a street level program. Because it is a JEO program, our Patrol deputies have no authority under this MOA. We will not be training our Patrol Deputies under this program, nor does our MOA allow us to do so.